Many children today have more toys than they know what to do with. Despite an abundance of interactive and electronic toys, a simple cardboard box is often all it takes to ignite a firestorm of imaginative play. A few windows or doors (cut into a square or rectangular box with an adult's help) transform an otherwise would-be piece of trash into a playhouse with limitless possibilities. This is one toy that offers a smorgasbord of opportunities for playtime, rather than limiting its user to a few battery-powered functions. Kids can decorate their playhouse box or leave it plain. Either way, it's sure to offer hours of entertainment, particularly on those days that are too rainy, cold or hot to venture outside.
Canada has taken the cardboard house idea to the next level. Recycled cardboard is now used as the main building material in temporary emergency housing camps. Some enthusiasts of these cardboard cribs are hoping that the material will eventually become a staple of residential development [source: Journey to Forever].